H:Religion and Film - RSST5740

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 6 30 (15) Chris Deacy checkmark-circle


The aim of this module is to enable students to understand and evaluate the range of models by which film and religion may be employed as conversation partners and to provide them with the tools necessary for exploring critical links between theology/religious studies and the medium of film. The course will begin with an examination of the methodological, conceptual and disciplinary issues that arise before exploring in critical depth the historical relationship between religion and film, with specific reference to the reception (ranging from prohibition to utilisation) of film by different religious groups. There will be a focus on particular categories of film and categories and models of religious and theological understanding, allowing students taking this module to develop the critical skills helpful for film interpretation and for exploring possible religious and theological approaches to film criticism.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40

Method of assessment

Essay (4,000 words) – 60%
Film Interpretation (2,000 words) – 30%
Presentation (15 minutes) – 10%

Indicative reading

Indicative reading:

Deacy, C. (2001), Screen Christologies: Redemption and the Medium of Film, Cardiff: University of Wales Press
Deacy, C. & Ortiz, G. (2008), Theology and Film: Challenging the Sacred/Secular Divide, Oxford: Blackwell
Lyden, J. (ed.), (2009), The Routledge Companion to Religion and Film, London & New York: Routledge, 2009.
Marsh, C. & Oritz, G. (eds.), (1997), Explorations in Theology and Film: Movies and Meaning, Oxford: Blackwell
Marsh, C. (2004), Cinema and Sentiment: Film's Challenge to Theology, Carlisle: Paternoster Press
Mitchell, J. & Plate, S. Brent, (2007), The Film and Religion Reader, London and New York: Routledge
Wright, M.J. (2007), Religion and Film: An Introduction, London: I.B. Taurus

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module Level 6 students will be able to:

- Outline and engage with to a critical extent the approaches that have been used by various scholars in their attempts to bring together the worlds of film and religion/theology. Students will be expected to show to a sophisticated degree which ones they consider to be most helpful and academically sustainable, and why;
- Demonstrate refined intellectual skills by exploring critical links between theology/religious studies and the medium of film, including the evaluation and appropriation of film criticism;
- Recognise to a sophisticated degree the extent to which theological and religious models and criticism may be applied to the medium of film;
- Investigate particular aspects of religion and film in critical depth.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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